What is Hypnosis? Separating Fact From Fiction
Today I want to talk about hypnosis. Specifically what it is, how it works, but also what it is not. I think that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hypnosis, mostly through popular culture and media, movies and depictions of people engaging in some form of hypnosis for “mind control”. I want you to know that is a total myth, that no one can control your mind.
What hypnosis actually is involves relaxing enough to tap into your inner self, or that inner, unconscious mind. Which is a space where your memories of your past exist, and also your ability to connect with your own spirit, with your spirit guides. It is a vast realm, this space.
So, when you are doing hypnosis, someone is guiding you and relaxing you and helping you find that place. Or leading you down the path and opening the door, and when you walk through the door you realize that all of this information existed inside of you the whole time.
The idea of mind control is wrong, it just doesn’t work that way. If you don’t want to do something then you are not going to do it. If you unconsciously do want to do something, referring to these people who do stage hypnosis and have people bark like a dog or quack like a dog, then you will end up doing them. This is usually people who want to be “part of the show”, which is why they volunteered.
Hypnosis is actually very relaxing. It’s a very pleasant experience that is similar to meditating. Only, the different between hypnosis and meditation is that hypnosis has a specific intent. You are looking for information, or looking to heal something. This is why people use hypnosis for quitting smoking or weight loss. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t really work unless you can get to the root cause of the behavior, and discover what the smoking is serving in you and what is underlying these symptoms. Perhaps there is something in your past life, or your childhood, or there is a specific emotional need that you feel that behavior is filling for you, and then once you understand that you can release that behavior. Otherwise, you can do hypnosis all day and it won’t help you quit just by telling yourself to.
So, hypnosis isn’t scary, there is no mind control, it’s relaxing, and it has actually been around for a really long time. It has been around since ancient times. In Ancient Egypt, they had places that were called “sleep temples” which were places that you would go if you had something that you were looking to work on or solve. So, you would go to these places, and there would be priests there that would be chanting, helping you relax and bringing yourself into that lucid dreaming state which is that state that is right between sleep and wakefulness, or the twilight state or consciousness. This is that space where you aren’t really asleep, and you aren’t totally awake, yet you are getting images and it can feel like a dream. And then, you would stay there in the sleep temple as long as you needed to until you resolved those issues. Sleep temples also existed in Ancient Greece and other ancient cultures.
And, many cultures worldwide have used the power of trance to communicate with spirit. There would be drumming, or dancing, or chanting, or whatever pulls you into that unconscious state where you can communicate with the realm of spirit.
There is also the use of looking at something to achieve a trance, such as a pendulum, which is the stereotype of the whole “now you are getting sleepy” old fashioned hypnosis in therapy, etc. That comes from practices in ancient cultures as well, Buddhist monks meditate on mandalas or intricate pictures that help their minds go into a trance state. We can use our eyes to pull us into an unconscious state, or look at an object such as in Kabbalah, meditating on a specific Hebrew letter.
There are many ways to tap into your unconscious mind and what I use is called guided imagery, which helps open that space, that channel to the realm of spirit, which lies inside of you and has nothing to do with mind control. And hypnosis can help you heal what is bothering you on an unconscious level by helping you get there, to your unconscious where it exists.